Explore Tower Hamlets’ historic highlights and modern marvels at the 25th Open House London
PUBLISHED: 14:00 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:37 08 September 2017
Discover the architectural gems on your doorstep with the return of an event all about celebrating the capital’s innovation and heritage.
Open House London is back on the weekend of September 16 and 17, showcasing hundreds of historic, and modern, sites which enrich their communities.
Tower Hamlets has taken part in the 25-year-old festival since 1992, and this year 44 buildings are available for you to explore.
Take a look at some of the selection below.
Bow Church – St Mary’s and Holy Trinity, Bow Road, E3
Saturday, September 16, 11am-5pm, Sunday, September 17, noon-5pm and a tour at 1pm and 3pm, and an art workshop: painting stained glass windows. Wildlife trail for ages three to 14.
This medieval village church was restored both in the late 19th century, and in the 20th century due to bomb damage during the Second World War.
Grade II* listed, it was refurbished in 2011 to celebrate its 700th anniversary. The bell tower and cupola are currently being restored.
Chrisp Street Market, The Clocktower, E14
Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, 10am-1pm.
The marketplace features a Modernist ‘practical folly’ created for the 1951 Festival of Britain architecture exhibition.
Christ Church Spitalfields, Commercial Street, E1
Saturday, September 16, 10am-5pm.
Fashioned in the English Baroque style, the Grade I listed church was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor in the 18th century, and restored in the 20th.
The crypt is now open to the public thanks to a redevelopment by Dow Jones Architects in 2015.
Club Row, Rochelle School and Club Row, Arnold Circus, E2
Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, 10am-5pm, including an architect-led tour of the main hall and former marching ground at 11am and 2pm; and an exhibition.
A rare example of the schools of E R Robson.
The Grade II listed building was refurbished to offer new gallery and office space.
Cranbrook Estate, Cranbrook Community Centre, Mace Street, E2
Sunday, September 17, noon-5pm, includes an exhibition, and hourly tours (noon-4pm) of a flat decorated in mid-century style.
This modernist estate designed by Lubetkin replaced Victorian terraces badly damaged by bombing.
Crossrail Place Roof Garden
One Canada Square, E14
Saturday, September 16, hourly tours led by Gillespies Landscape Architects (10am-4pm).
The first new building to open as part of the Crossrail scheme.
Situated above the new station, the garden features unique plants from across the world, and an intricate lattice roof.
Kingsley Hall, Powis Road, off Bruce Road, E3
Saturday, September 16, 11am-6pm, featuring Gandhi’s cell, peace garden, exhibition, and hourly tours (noon-5pm).
Community centre founded by peace campaigners Muriel and Doris Lester.
Includes the main hall and six rooftop cells for community volunteers.
London Buddhist Centre, Roman Road, E2
Sunday, September 17, 10am-5pm, with tours at 11am and 4pm.
A red brick Victorian former fire station, now a Buddhist centre with three shrine rooms.
Museum of London Docklands, No. 1 Warehouse, E14
Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, 10am-5.45pm, with a tour every 30 minutes between 11am and 4.30pm.
The museum blends historic and modern design, being situated in a Grade I listed late-Georgian sugar warehouse.
New multimedia displays coexist with the building’s original timber and brick structures.
Sandys Row Synagogue, E1
Sunday, September 17, 11am-4pm, with a history of the synagogue by author Rachel Lichtenstein, hourly, and a film Our Hidden Histories, also by Rachel, featuring recollections of life in the Jewish East End.
The building is the oldest Ashkenazi synagogue in London, having been founded in 1860.
But upon its creation in 1763, it was actually designed as a Huguenot chapel.
Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, Spital Square, E1
Saturday, September 16, 10am-5pm, featuring a craft display.
The only Georgian building left on the square, it is thought to have been built in 1740 by Peter Ogier, a Huguenot silk merchant.
St Dunstan and All Saints Church, Stepney High Street, E1
Saturday, September 16, 10am-5pm, Sunday, September 17, 1-5pm, with a tour on Saturday at 11am and Sunday at 2pm, and a children’s activity at 2pm.
The church predates even the Tower of London, and was in use from the year 952.
Many founders of Trinity House are buried here, and features include Norman font, medieval ‘squint’, memorials and stained glass.
St Matthias Old Church – community centre, Poplar High Street, E14
Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, 10am-5pm.
Oldest Docklands building in the Gothic and Classical architectural styles, with original 17th century stonework and mosaics.
One of only three churches built during the Civil War, it was originally the East India Company Chapel.
Thames River Police, Wapping High Street, E1W
Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, 11am-5pm.
A former carpenter’s workshop (1910) incorporated into a working police station.
The workshop space contains a history of Thames River Police.
Trinity Buoy Wharf/Container City, Orchard Place, E14
Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, 10am-5pm, with a tour at 12.30pm.
Home to London’s only lighthouse, fine stock buildings and examples of the innovative Container City buildings.
This former buoy manufacturing site is now a centre for the creative industries.
Wilton’s Music Hall, Graces Alley, E1
Saturday, September 16, 10am-1pm.
The oldest grand music hall in the world, complete with papier-mâché balconies, barley sugar iron columns and a unique atmosphere.
The hall is fronted by five terrace houses; four Georgian and one dating from the 1990s.
Visit openhouselondon.org.uk for the full list of buildings taking part this year.